THAILAND STORM INTO ASIAN MEN’S U20 CHAMPIONSHIP SEMI-FINALS FIRST TIME IN 28 YEARS
Manama, Bahrain, July 26, 2018 – Thailand stormed into the semi-finals of the 19th Asian Men’s U20 Volleyball Championship for the first time in 28 years after a stunning straight-set 25-19, 25-22, 28-26 victory at the Isa Sport City Hall on Thursday.
Their efforts in the semi-finals of the top-flight championship dated back to 1990 when Thailand went down to Korea in the third-place playoff in the 5th edition in Bangkok. Since then, the Thai squad have never made it to the semi-finals. With the scintillating win over Chinese Taipei, which pulled off a shock 3-2 win over Japan in the classification playoff match on Wednesday, Thailand will go up against Iran in the Friday’s semi-final clash.
Chinese Taipei were fighting in all moments of the match trying to use advantage of the opponents’ mistakes, but they failed to make their mark with their own games riddled with unforced mistakes. Their form was a far cry from what they had done in the previous match against Japan which they defensively and offensively took control of the match against the formidable rivals.
For Thailand, a place in the semi-finals first time in 28 years was a priceless birthday gift to the Thailand head coach Somboon Nakpung, who turned 38 on Thursday.
“I am happy with this win. Chinese Taipei used their outside hitters to put pressure on us. Our middle blockers Soranan and Chakkawat helped us stop them. Our next match will be against Iran that is also tough. Actually, our initial target was to secure a semi-final berth and therefore, if we beat Iran, that would be a bonus for us,” Somboon commented.
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